A glorious day for racing at the Richard Dunn track making it perfect for some exciting competition. Organised by Otley Cycle Club and volunteers fuelled on Middlemiss Pies, a large contingent of Otley riders had escaped ‘The Show’ and travelled to Bradford. A large field of riders lined up in the younger age groups, a great introduction to the track and a wide array of bikes on show all with smiling riders to pilot them.
In the U7s a big bunch set off, some at a furious pace with others following on at a more sedate pace. It was tough for the race officials to keep track of lapped riders, but there was one very clear winner. Otley had one rider, Isla Bailey, who pedalled well for the four laps, just missing out on a podium spot finishing 4th – a great first race for the club. Sorry nobody seems to have snapped Isla on the way around.
The U9s was another large bunch and from the start it became a very competitive race. There were soon bunches spread around the track and attacks coming from all areas, it made for exciting spectator sport. Oscar Hall looked strong and Daniel Middlebrooke showed off his usually high cadence to good effect on the hill. It was Oscar who was able to take advantage of the bunches and came in 6th with Daniel just beyond in 7th. The girls race saw Amy Hodgkins and Isla Aylward, both old hands at circuit racing and looked strong throughout. They had there usual close race, until Isla skidded and hit the floor, hurting her leg and hand but nothing too serious. Amy stayed out of trouble and got 3rd place, Isla battered and bruised finished in 5th and because the team mates are also School friends they got the team prize which cheered Isla up and took her mind away from her sore leg!
In the U11s a very experienced grid formed and predictably a fast pace was set from the start. It was quite a tactical race but at the same time it was clear many riders were on the limit. The Otley boys were all bunched in the second group, which was then gradually whittled down due to the speed, Rauridh Aylward and Alex Hodgkins managing to stick for the whole race. Jack Wilks raced strongly and held onto the group for longer than usual, only losing it as the repeated attacks took their toll. Ruaridh finished in 6th, Alex in 9th and Jack in 13th. The girls were represented by Lilly Cullen who put in a brave performance, maximum effort shown throughout and matched by Lauren Hall and Genavieve Schubert who were both circuit racing for the first time. The girls never stopped pedalling fast and finished strongly with Lilly in 6th, Lauren in 7th and Genevieve in 8th.
The U13s was also a high paced affair, the winning boy going at a speed which nobody could match. He lapped the field and even overtook others at least once again! A lead group of boys was just ahead of the second bunch which had three leading girls, including Isobel Wilks. Emily Middlebrooke and Poppy Peacock were just behind in a smaller group, but the gap increased as the laps were counting down. As the race progressed riders were spread around the circuit and the heat was taking its toll. James Luxton enjoyed his ride, he’d decided it was a good idea to take his water with him and enjoyed a slurp on his way round! Isobel Wilks finished in the 3rd podium position, with Emily Middlebrooke 4th and Poppy Peacock 5th. However, it pays to come with your friends as the three of them won the team prize for PHGS, the second of the season. James Luxton finished in 7th position.
A well organised day, large fields of riders making it very difficult for the race officials to keep track of lapped riders. A massive thank you to Peter Middlebrooke and Paul Luxton for organising the day and chapeau to all those volunteers who helped out during the afternoon. A special mention to Middlemiss Butchers who provided a lovely array of pies and sausage rolls – volunteers and minis enjoying alike and thanks to Jon and Kate for setting up the party bus complete with lollies and ice cream! A great day out!